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We all sadly see many marriages fall apart over time and the spouses cannot reconcile their difference. In most scenarios, the couple would file divorce, forcing themselves to likely go through arduous negotiations between Beaverton family law attorneys to determine asset division, child custody, visitation rights, child support, and more — the divorce process can rack up bills over a lengthy period of time, leaving both parties more bitter than before. At the end of it all, the two parties lose the tax and other benefits of being married, such as being on the same healthcare plan to cut costs. The divorce process can also take a mental and emotional toll on the children.

Sometimes the couple wants to take a break, but not call things quits entirely. During this time, they can figure out what they want from the relationship, where the issues lie, and the steps to fix them. Oftentimes, the couple will attend marriage counseling or individual counseling. Additionally, they may not be able to afford the divorce itself and do not want to waste time and money arguing over who deserves what in the asset division if a prenuptial agreement was not signed prior to the marriage. Or, if a divorce is desired, but the couple has not lived in Oregon for at least six (6) months, legal separation may be the only way to get space, live apart, and not continue on as a married couple. After enough time has passed, the couple can file for divorce, rather than just separation.

Maybe the couple wants a divorce, but due to religious beliefs, they cannot abide by a divorce and feel that it will go against their moral code and teachings. In some cases, couples come from very traditional backgrounds where divorce is highly frowned upon. Since Oregon is a no fault state, perhaps one party was unfaithful and the other party wants to save face and rather than filing for divorce, can choose to be legally separated and avoid sideways looks.

When filing for legal separation, you can choose to hammer out details for child custody, financial support, asset division, and more. Many, however, will agree to keep things as a status quo without putting effort into the marriage. In some cases, this can be good for the children to have both parents in their lives without overarching legal constructs and constraints getting in the way. Some marriages are rescued after some time and soul searching and a costly and lengthy divorce process was avoided. However, with legal separation, you can file, not live together, and continue on with your lives until the next decision is made.

Whether you are looking to file for legal separation or divorce, it is advised that you contact and work with a Beaverton family law attorney. Our lawyers are ready to help shed light on the intricacies of separation versus divorce and advise on which route is best for you to take. Contact our offices today to learn more and discuss your options moving forward.